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Local Interactions Contribute to Spatial Correlations in Gene Expression Levels in Bacterial Groups

54 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2018 Sneak Peek Status: Published

See all articles by Simon van Vliet

Simon van Vliet

ETH Zurich - Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics (IBP)

Alma Dal Co

ETH Zurich - Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics (IBP)

Annina R. Winkler

ETH Zurich - Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics (IBP)

Stefanie Spriewald

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Max von Pettenkofer-Institute

Bärbel Stecher

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Max von Pettenkofer-Institute

Martin Ackermann

ETH Zurich - Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics (IBP)

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Abstract

Many bacteria live in spatially structured assemblies where the microenvironment of a cell is shaped by the activities of its neighbors. Bacteria regulate their gene expression based on the inferred state of the environment. This raises the question whether the phenotypes of neighboring cells can become correlated through interactions via the shared microenvironment. Here, we addressed this question by following gene expression dynamics in Escherichia coli microcolonies. We observed strong spatial correlations in the expression dynamics for pathways involved in toxin production, SOS-stress response, and metabolism. These correlations can partly be explained by a combination of shared lineage history and spatial gradients in the colony. Interestingly, we also found evidence for cell-cell interactions in SOS-stress response, methionine biosynthesis and overall metabolic activity. Together our data show that gene expression patterns in bacterial groups are highly nonrandom in space.

Suggested Citation

Vliet, Simon van and Co, Alma Dal and Winkler, Annina R. and Spriewald, Stefanie and Stecher, Bärbel and Ackermann, Martin, Local Interactions Contribute to Spatial Correlations in Gene Expression Levels in Bacterial Groups (2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3155844 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3155844
This is a paper under consideration at Cell Press and has not been peer-reviewed.

Simon van Vliet (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich - Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics (IBP) ( email )

Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

Alma Dal Co

ETH Zurich - Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics (IBP)

Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

Annina R. Winkler

ETH Zurich - Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics (IBP)

Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

Stefanie Spriewald

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Max von Pettenkofer-Institute

Pettenkoferstraße 9A
München, 80336
Germany

Bärbel Stecher

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Max von Pettenkofer-Institute

Pettenkoferstraße 9A
München, 80336
Germany

Martin Ackermann

ETH Zurich - Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics (IBP)

Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

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